Toners are like the "black sheep" of skincare—often underappreciated and even a bit misunderstood. So, why should you add this extra step in a skincare regimen? Aren’t cleansers, exfoliants, serums, moisturizers, and sunscreens enough?
TO TONE OR NOT TO TONE
Have you ever had an inner dialogue of how you really don’t NEED that cool new pair of shoes, but… they would go SO well with your outfit and totally round out your look?
Or you really don’t NEED that delicious-looking dessert after a meal, but… it would make the meal even more memorable?
Okay, now apply that principle to toners. Do you really NEED an additional product in your daily skincare regimen? Consider this: an expertly formulated, well-chosen toner can truly boost the benefits of the other products in your regimen, taking it to a whole new level.
Here are a few reasons that toners are worthy of a place in your daily skincare regimen.
- Toners quickly restore skin's ideal pH balance. Cleansing or double cleansing can sometimes mess with the natural pH balance of the skin barrier. A toner helps restore skin's optimum pH, which can range between 4.5 and 5.5 on a scale of 0 to 14. This slightly acidic pH is ideal for keeping moisture in and bacteria out, which helps protect the skin barrier from dryness, inflammation, and other skin issues. When the pH is too alkaline or too acidic, skin becomes dry, flaky, itchy, sensitive, and prone to inflammation and redness.
- They add another layer of instant hydration that binds moisture to skin. A popular trend in Korean beauty is a particular method of applying toners to saturate skin with hydration. It's called "The 7-Skin Method" because seven layers of toner are applied onto the skin, one right after the other. That way, the skin is drenched with moisture, a fast track to the Korean ideal dewy glow known as "glass skin.” This glowy look has also been dubbed “Jello Skin” on TikTok and refers to luminous, plump, and dewy skin that bounces back when touched.
- Toners help shrink enlarged pores. Toners help remove excess oil, dead skin cells, and any type of residue that may be left over after cleansing. It’s a great way to ensure that you have cleared out any gunk that clogs up pores, which will help make pores look less noticeable. Bonus: clarified, clean pores will help reduce the chance of those pesky breakouts—at any age.
- They sweep away chlorine and chemicals in tap water. Did you know that tap water contains additives like chlorine and minerals that can strip skin of its natural oils? You might not really think about these little invaders until you see mineral deposits on shower doors or on your faucet. If you rinse your face with tap water after cleansing (as most of us do), it’s likely that chlorine and minerals come in contact with your skin and may trigger dryness, irritation, and breakouts. However, a good toner can sweep away chlorine or other residue and prevent skin from drying out.
- Toners prep skin to optimize the effects of the next step in the treatment. Since toners clear the skin of debris and leave skin moist, nourishing ingredients can penetrate more efficiently. In fact, moist skin can absorb topical products better than dry skin can, so a toner is an ideal precursor to a serum or cream. Think of a toner as fast-tracking the ingredients in your serum or moisturizer beyond the surface of the skin, so they can work as effectively as possible
- They can contain active ingredients that treat specific skin conditions. How do we love toners? Let us count the ways. There are toners containing peptides for reducing visible signs of aging; toners with alpha hydroxy acids that specifically target blemish-prone skin and enlarged pores; toners with soothing ingredients to relieve inflamed, sensitive skin; and toners with brightening ingredients to help target dark spots and improve radiance.
If you’ve decided that toners are for you, here are some great options.
- Looking for a toner to treat signs of aging, dehydration, and loss of firmness? Try Essence Toner, the serum-infused elixir.
- Suffering from stressed skin? Experience Iso-Rose Hydrating Mist, the soothing bouquet.
- Dealing with blemishes or rosacea? Turn to Iso-Cell Recovery Solution, the miracle spray.
- Need to brighten things up a little? Try Brightening Toner, the glow potion.
THE TONE ZONE
Bottom line, using a toner is not as essential the other steps of an effective skincare regimen: cleanser, exfoliant, serum, cream, and sunscreen. But think about it. An extra pair of new shoes or a delicious dessert isn’t essential either, but they can certainly improve your day. And isn’t that what living life to the fullest is all about?